Projects affected by tensions between north and south Sudan
The tensions between north and south Sudan are increasing, and it is feared that should the situation not be solved during the current talks, the situation will escalate and be the start of the third war between north and south. The country office is prepared in case the situation worsens, but at the moment the projects are continuing despite the challenges that the current situation brings along.
There is a long history of violence between north and south Sudan. Recent tensions focus on the border area and cities as Heglig and Abyei. But also further south, around Wau where Dorcas' field office is located, the tensions are felt. The local population and organizations are asked by the government to support the soldiers with anything that can be given away, such as food, tents, money. ‘Last week a couple of soldiers started to catch all the goats grazing around the compound. These soldiers are serious and really need food,' says Dorcas' country coordinator Johan van Dam.
But also the people themselves are struggling to survive. Prices are increasing and goods are becoming scarcer. Some petrol stations are closed already, the value of the dollar has almost doubled, food becomes expensive and locals struggle to find fresh affordable vegetables on the market. The costs of some products have almost tripled in one year time. This has severe implications for the supported projects. Less food for relief aid can be bought with the same budget, and seed for food security projects is not only used to plant, but also to eat. This negatively affects food security on the long term.
The whole situation leaves the population submissive. Van Dam explains: ‘People prefer the current situation above living under the rule of the government of Al-Bashir. And if the war comes, people will accept and fight.'